Power Library Users Conference

HSLC will convene a two-day Spring POWER Library Users Conference for Access PA/POWER Library participants in April 2016 that will include training for POWER Library E-resources and Access PA SHAREit as well as an opportunity to learn about other POWER Library services such as PA Photos and Documents, Chat with a Librarian, the POWER Library Portal, and more.

Locally, one of the conferences will take place in Cranberry Township.

More information can be found at:



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November 2012 Database Training

The final database training of 2012 will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 from 1:00-3:00 at Brentwood Public Library. This 2 hour eResource workshop will focus on literature and biography databases. Specialists from Gale and EBSCO will focus on Literature Resource Center, Biography in Context, Novelist, and other databases available to library users. The workshop will allow staff to become more familiar with when to use these resources and how to get the most out of them.

Registration is required at http://tinyurl.com/ab22t5z and the class offers 2 CE credits. Please note that the program will be cancelled if at least 15 people have not registered. For more information, please call Dustin Shilling, Northern Tier Library Director, at 724-449-2665.

Debi Ryder

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Top Takeaways from the Job and Career Resources Training

On Wednesday, April 25, Cooper-Siegel Community Library hosted EREC’s training on job and career resources.  The two presenters, Betsy Neidle from CareerLink, and Wes Roberts, Senior Librarian at CLP’s Job and Career Education Center/PC Center, both provided a plethora of useful information.  The EREC committee members have culled together our top takeaways for those of you who weren’t able to attend.

Top Tips from CareerLink:

PA CareerLink is a one-stop shop that seeks to connect employers and job seekers.  They offer a range of services to help job seekers find available jobs, assess and improve their skills, and complete the required Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS) profile, which is related to collecting unemployment.  Many people have not completed their profile, which is essential in order to receive job matches.  She was kind enough to provide a printable CWDS Enrollment Guide. This document offers detailed instructions for completing a CWDS profile. 

Betsy herself had two great recommendations.  We should all take some time to go through the process of creating our own profile in the CWDS, as well as visit a CareerLink location. As she said, our patrons are using these services, and the more familiar we are with them, the more helpful we can be.

Betsy had a lot of interesting statistics to share, including the fact that of the 61,809 people CareerLink Pittsburgh served in 2011, a high percentage (48%)  had completed college, demonstrating that …  For more interesting statistics and details about what CareerLink can offer your patrons, check out Betsy’s PowerPoint

Top Tips from the Job and Career Education Center:

Wes highlighted a lot of great resources for job seekers as well.  In addition to a variety of useful databases available through CLP and, in some cases, a handful of other county libraries, there were a number of helpful free sites. Some of our favorites are:

  • GCFLearnFree: This site offers free online lessons to help people improve their technology, literacy, and math skills. 
  • Resunate.com: This Pittsburgh-based company offers a resume wizard, but also a unique “Auto Focus” feature that helps customize a resume to a specific job description.  Users get three free focuses before they have to select a subscription plan. 
  • Indeed.com: This job aggregator captures about 70% of local job openings, making it one of the more useful places to find potential local employment.   

For more great recommendations from Wes, check out his Prezi.

Were you at the training?  If so, share your favorite takeaways in the comments below.  If you weren’t there but have a favorite job and career resource, we want to know about that too!


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Helpful hints from the “History and Genealogy” training sessions…

Here are some helpful hints from Wednesday’s “History and Genealogy” training sessions, offered up from members of the EREC committee who attended. Representatives from ProQuest’s Ancestry.com, from Gale’s U.S. History in Context and World History in Context, and from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Room led the training.

Helpful Hints for Ancestry.com

  • Because variation and inconsistency in indexing old records often leads to spelling variations of names, the Ancestry  representative recommended using “?” or “*” in place of variable characters.
  • There are training resources for Ancestry here: http://proquest.com/en-US/promos/ALE/Genealogy_Research_Tools.shtml.  It also includes a description of the difference between Ancestry Library Edition and Ancestry.com.
  •  In Ancestry you can only send 5 emails to the same email account, so a better option is to save your item(s) as an image file and email them as an attachment.

 Helpful Hints for U.S. History in Context and World History in Context

  • The topic pages allow you to create a bookmark to link directly to the desired page–very useful for specialized library websites for students, assignments, etc.
  • You can have the text read to you by clicking on “Listen.” Not only will it be read to you, it will highlight the words being read so that you can follow along. It also gives you the option of limiting what’s read by highlighting a portion of the text, or even just a single word.
  • Gale will soon be offering customized promotional materials.

Helpful Hints from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Department

  • The 1940 Census will be made available for public inspection beginning Monday, April 2, 2012. It does not have a name index or Soundex. Searches can be done by enumeration district, which are the geographic areas in which the information was collected.
  • This website provides shortcuts to many genealogical websites: http://stevemorse.org and will help in finding enumeration districts.

 Please add your own helpful hints by clicking on “Comments.” And look for information (coming soon!) about our next training session. It will be held on April 25th at the Cooper-Siegel Community Library in O’Hara Township and will be about job and career resources.

Mary Lee (Northland)

Continue ReadingHelpful hints from the “History and Genealogy” training sessions…